At 11:00am on November 14th, the VCBC was raided by the Community Safety Unit and Victoria Police. Nine law enforcement officers attended the scene and removed all cannabis flower and products. They left the cash on premises. There were five staff members on site, and another eight to ten club members. The raid concluded at roughly 1:00pm.
“It’s very sad that it has come to this. A lot of patients rely on our medicines that they can’t find or afford elsewhere,” said Ted Smith, President and Founder of the VCBC. “We are committed to ensuring patients have access to high quality medicine they can afford, and we will reopen after the rally tomorrow.”
When the raid was over, protesters that had gathered during marched over to the office of Carol James to inform her office of the coming storm. As we had planned and published online in the Cannabis Digest, the very next day the club organized a rally at the BC Legislature before reopening the club on Friday November 15th at 3pm.
Ted Smith and the staff of VCBC gathered with a crowd of members, patients and allies to protest the unjust raid of our medical marijuana club. We were greeted by a rainbow, a beautiful omen welcoming us to the parliament buildings while we spoke out to fight for patients rights to their medicine.
Please join us in writing to and protesting our provincial leaders to express our frustration with the raids on our medical marijuana compassion club. The Community Safety Unit (CSU) stole medicine from patients whose lives depend on it and this injustice will not be tolerated. The raids against the VCBC signal the provincial government’s lack of concern for patients rights to access high quality and low cost cannabis medicine. Please address your concerns to the following political leaders:
Mike Farnworth: Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
107A – 2748 Lougheed Hwy, Port Coquitlam V3B6P2
Hon. John Horgan: BC Premier
122-2806 Jacklin Road
Victoria BC V9B5A4
Carole James: Victoria MLA, Deputy Premier
1084 Fort St,
Victoria, BC V8V3K4
Additionally, we will be organizing weekly protests around the province to ensure the BC NDP do not think this club is going to give up on its membership so easily. The first of these protests will be at noon on Saturday November 23rd at the back of the Empress Hotel in Victoria. The BC NDP will be holding its annual convention that afternoon and we will make our grievances known to this gathering of political influencers. The following Saturday on November 23rd we will gather at noon in front of John Horgan’s office in Langford.
On Saturday December 7th at noon we will venture over to the mainland to visit the office of Mike Farnsworth in New Westminster. Mr. Farnsworth is the director of the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General in Canada. He has the power to call off these inspectors and to encourage the government to work with us rather than dictate unacceptable terms to us. With so many patients and their caregivers upset on the mainland, we expect this rally to draw a substantial crowd.
We do not want to commit to the times and locations of protests beyond that date, as we want to remain flexible to ensure our events generate the most pressure possible. If you hear of any prime opportunities to demonstrate to the BC NDP or federal Liberal politicians, please contact us. Together we will make this government understand how critical our club’s services are to patients and to encourage politicians to work with us rather than against us.
In addition to letter writing and protesting there will be other campaigns to assist the club financially and politically. Stay tuned to our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, our website) and the white boards in the club when you are making a purchase for more info on how to get involved with our political actions.
Thank you so very much to everyone who is helping keep our club operating in these dark days.